My husband went out to mow the lawn last week. The good news: he came back. The bad news: he came back after cutting only half of the back yard. He entered the kitchen with an announcement.
“Mower’s broken,” he said.
“Not again,” I said, feeling like we were caught in a moment of déjà vu – which we were, sort of.
When it comes to lawn mowers, he and I have witnessed our fair share of failures. We buy them. Use them for a short time. They break. The cycle repeats. Because of our history of bad mower karma, I had no reason to doubt my husband’s latest declaration of death. Still, he perceived this breakdown as significant, somehow.
“You’ve got to see this,” he said.
No I don’t, I half whispered, half screamed inside my head, hoping he hadn’t suddenly become telepathic. I couldn’t imagine how a broken mower could in any way be of any interest to me.
I am every parent. Or most parents. Or at least one of the parents who live in my house – which is one of two, or one-half, or 50 percent, but who’s counting?
I represent the good folks who live a normal life with numbers serving as a daily, and integral, portion. I can measure liquids and solids, calculate the fabric yardage needed for new kitchen curtains, follow the speed limit and determine the calorie count in a piece of cherry pie, but my kids’ math homework has me stumped.
I am doing my best, but I am an old mom, with old math skills, and an old calculator that couldn’t create a graph or make a flower dance across its screen if its battery power depended on it. My homework assistance skills don’t add up.
As you know, there is potential for a U.S. Government shutdown to take place on Oct. 1, 2013, and appropriations for the federal budget will expire. With a few days remaining until that deadline, we’ll just have to remain hopeful that Congress and the president will resolve their differences and avoid the shutdown. If a compromise does not occur and a federal shutdown becomes reality, we could be faced with some reimbursement difficulties from the Minnesota Department of Education. Simply stated, the electronic transfer of federal funds to MDE and schools could be delayed until a resolution is passed by Congress and signed by the president.
We’ve often talked with law makers about our educational needs and at times legislation that is well intended can have unintended consequences that makes our jobs in schools more challenging. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a quick resolution.
This week I said goodbye to an old friend and our parting was bittersweet. We’d spent nearly every day together for more than seven years. Lately, however, he just hadn’t been reliable. It was getting so I couldn’t count on him to be there when I needed him the most. In my heart, I knew I should move on, but for the last few months I’d been putting off the inevitable. Change can be difficult especially when there’s so much history involved. Seven years is a long time – for sure more than six.
In the early days, we’d been inseparable. He helped me with my work in just about every way imaginable – like an administrative assistant or maybe even an office manager. He was smart. He edited my sentences. Assisted with research. Checked grammar and spelling. He even helped with formatting. The guy was a whiz. Until he started slacking.
Updates on Affordable Care Act (ACA)
You may have recently read that parts of the Affordable Care Act have been delayed until
Jan. 1, 2015. I’d like to share some of the details and clarify what parts of ACA have actually been postponed.
The IRS delayed certain provisions of the ACA back in July of 2013. The announcement to delay the employer mandated health-care or pay penalties came from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Three specific ACA requirements that were delayed until 2015 are listed below.